France declares AGOA Marine Mammal Sanctuary

Jamaica, West Indies
5th October 2010

France officially declares  the establishment of the AGOA Marine Mammal Sanctuary in the FWI

At the Sixth Meeting of the Contracting Parties (COP) to the Protocol Concerning Specially Protected Areas and Wildlife (SPAW) of the United Nations Environment Programme  in the Wider Caribbean Region in Montego Bay, Jamaica today,   France officially declared the establishment of the AGOA marine mammal sanctuary.  The sanctuary is designed  to ensure the conservation of marine mammals in waters under French sovereignty and jurisdiction in the  French West Indies.*   These include the territorial waters and Exclusive Economic Zones (EEZ’s) surrounding Martinique, Guadeloupe and its dependencies of Marie Galante, the Saints Archipelago, la Desirade, Petite Terre, as well as those of  St. Barthelemy and St. Martin. 

The given name of the Sanctuary is “AGOA” in reference to the Goddess of the sea in Amerindian mythology.

The current legislation includes prohibition, destruction, mutilation, capture, intentional removal, transport or trade in marine mammals.

Within the sanctuary  adequate review and  provisions will be made with regard to activities such as  marine mammal observation, seismic research and other acoustic activities, motor boat races, maritime transports, the use of fishing gear that can lead to the capture of marine mammals and any other activity likely to prejudice the welfare of marine mammals or the integrity of their populations such as  land and sea born pollution as well as toxins.   Information, awareness and education programmes will be implemented for professionals and other sea users  so that they can know more about the Sanctuary and its whales and dolphins.

The Declaration was signed by Marie Luce Penchard, Secretary of State for Overseas and Chantal Jouanno, Secretary of State for Ecology.  The Declaration  concluded more than 20 years of efforts by the initiator of the project the Eastern Caribbean Coalition for Environmental Awareness  (ECCEA) and persistent efforts  by the Ministry of Environment, the Ministry of Foreign Affairs and its Regional Departments of Environment in the French West Indies.


word English - 43 Kb
word French - 43 Kb
word Spanish - 43 Kb

 *For full document in French, English and Spanish see UNITED NATIONS ENVIRONMENT PROGRAMME DOCUMENT UNEP(DEP)/CAR IG.29/CRP.3 -  5 October 2010 and